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Thread: RV Transport/Drive-Away: A Good Alternative to Trucking?

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    Default RV Transport/Drive-Away: A Good Alternative to Trucking?

    Greetings, all. Those who have read my few previous postings to CAD know that I have been on the fence about going into trucking as a second career. While there are aspects of trucking that really appeal to me, there are others that turn me off completely.

    A company that does RV transport/drive-away has been advertising in the local papers lately. I read through everything on their Web site and got to thinking, what about this?

    They require only a class B CDL with air brakes endorsement. Once accepted, you attend a few-days orientation at their headquarters, then you're dispatched.

    It seems to overcome my negative aspects of breaking into professional driving: having to go out with a trainer for weeks on end, forced dispatch, and others.

    The company is Horizon Transport out of Elkhart, IN. A recruiter there said that their drivers net anywhere from 30 - 60 cents per mile.

    Anybody done RV transport before? Can one make a decent living at it?

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    Jay B is offline Board Regular
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    It sounds like a cool job, but think about the economy for a few minutes. RVs are VERY expensive toys bought with discretionary income that use huge amounts of fuel.

    If we are headed for a full blown recession, and I believe wew are, RV sales will plummet to even less than they are now.

    People are worried about food money, not buying $250K fuel guzzling, non practical toys.

    You live in Nevada? Check into RV moving for snowbirds instead of new RV delivery. Sure that only has one month in the spring and one month in the fall for a busy season but I think it is a better bet.

    Or, if you really want to be on the road all the time without driving an otr big rig, check out something like NASCAR concession sales or food sales in the fair circuit.

    Just my thoughts.

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    JeffTheTerrible is offline Senior Board Member
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    I know someone who did the drive-away/whatever the hell it's called for Swift, hauling Mack and Volvo trucks to dealerships and such. According to him, when it was good, it was good, and when it was slow, it sucked. He got good mileage pay (I think they started him at something like 44 cents/mile), plus expenses, but you also have to consider that you're not going to be continually putting on miles the way you would be if you were hauling freight. I'll give him a call, and see if he'll register on here and tell you more about it, or send me an email to post on here. He could tell you a lot more about it than I could.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retired in Nevada View Post
    Anybody done RV transport before? Can one make a decent living at it?
    Check this forum www.heartlandowners.org that I am on and contact pmmjarrett he is retired and works for one of the companies in or around Elkhart,IN.And the new trailer sales have held up for the most part during this downturn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay B View Post
    It sounds like a cool job, but think about the economy for a few minutes. RVs are VERY expensive toys bought with discretionary income that use huge amounts of fuel.

    If we are headed for a full blown recession, and I believe wew are, RV sales will plummet to even less than they are now.

    People are worried about food money, not buying $250K fuel guzzling, non practical toys.

    You live in Nevada? Check into RV moving for snowbirds instead of new RV delivery. Sure that only has one month in the spring and one month in the fall for a busy season but I think it is a better bet.

    Or, if you really want to be on the road all the time without driving an otr big rig, check out something like NASCAR concession sales or food sales in the fair circuit.

    Just my thoughts.
    The recruiter at the company I mentioned said that they are very busy. They not only transport RVs, but also school busses and ambulances. He suggested that if I were to get a bus endorsement on my CDL along with the air brakes endorsement, I could be as busy as I want.

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    BigDiesel is offline BANNED Rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retired in Nevada View Post

    Anybody done RV transport before? Can one make a decent living at it?
    It is a great way to go broke and run your pick-up into the ground.....

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    Sealord is offline Senior Board Member
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    Default RV Transport/Drive-Away

    The first thing you need to check with them is whether you'll be an employee (W-2) or an independent contractor (1099). Second, if you're driving a bus with no passengers, why is a "P" endorsement needed? BOL

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    There are many down sides to the RV moving business- namely the total (unpaid) Deadhead back to Indiana after dropping off the RV/5-th Wheel, also there's the no transporting them in slick/high wind conditions ( couple of the companies don't allow that) Most don't allow you to enter or sleep IN the RV/5th wheel camper- some even Seal the doors to be able to detect the drivers breaking that rule. It's perfect if you're retired own at least a 3/4 ton pickup( with a full 8 foot bed) and want to make a little "supplemental" income.

    I've started a whole board dedicated to this- at my site. There's also the links to 5-6 of the top companies in that business there as well.

    Quality Driveaway would probably be your best bet for "sometimes-- 60%" getting some kind of backhaul to Indiana . But overall, I'd say --StarFleet is my favorite. Good luck in your Future Endeavors.
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    Funny that I should have come across this today. I met a guy yesterday who does drive away. He works for Bennett out of McDonough, GA. He primarily drives buses, but also drives trucks and about anything else they ask. He said that he has been with them for about 5 years and makes about $100M/year. The way he is set up with them, they pay him mileage, much like an owner operator and he pays for fuel. He drove a Greyhound bus for several years before getting into drive away. I don't know their requirements but they may have enough different types of drive away to keep you busy. I am not sure how Bennett is listed, but I am sure you could do a search for Bennett Transport and find them.

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    BigDiesel is offline BANNED Rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
    Funny that I should have come across this today. I met a guy yesterday who does drive away. He works for Bennett out of McDonough, GA. He primarily drives buses, but also drives trucks and about anything else they ask. He said that he has been with them for about 5 years and makes about $100M/year. The way he is set up with them, they pay him mileage, much like an owner operator and he pays for fuel. He drove a Greyhound bus for several years before getting into drive away. I don't know their requirements but they may have enough different types of drive away to keep you busy. I am not sure how Bennett is listed, but I am sure you could do a search for Bennett Transport and find them.
    It is very easy to gross a 100k per year..... But remember you are paid on a 1099 and classified as a Independant contractor.... Also the driveaway industry is on its azz right now.... I can answer any question you have about the driveaway industry as my wife and I owned a driveaway company from 2002 to 2006 along side of our trucking company.

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    http://www.trukz.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDiesel View Post
    It is very easy to gross a 100k per year..... But remember you are paid on a 1099 and classified as a Independant contractor.... Also the driveaway industry is on its azz right now.... I can answer any question you have about the driveaway industry as my wife and I owned a driveaway company from 2002 to 2006 along side of our trucking company.

    I have spoken with several who did drive away over the years. With most of them it didn't seem all that profitable. As far as what the drive away industry is doing right now, I would say that at least some segments, such as RV's, would be suffering. The guy I spoke with most recently said that he was staying pretty busy. Of course, if he is transporting city buses and similar types of vehicles he is not as likely going to have as much difficulty staying busy as someone who transports RV's.

    If you are interested in this type of work, I would contact several companies to see what they offer. By the way, Colin, thanks for the link. I like the their application.

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    I thought about driveaway for a while and leaned toward rv due to less unknown costs such as fuel and repairs.

    Tow the customer's trailers with your own rig = pickup payment + maint + fuel.
    Drive the customer's RV = take the bus or plane to the next or drive your own (hopefully already paid for) car to the next.

    A regular car would have lower maint and fuel costs than a 3/4 ton diesel pickup.

    I thought about it, but decided to stay home.
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    Thanks for the input, everyone. To clarify matters a little, I have called several of the driveaway companies, including Bennett. None other than Horizon Transport is using drivers from Nevada currently.

    I would be a 1099 contractor. My tow car would be my fully paid for 2005 Honda Civic from which I can get almost 40 MPG on the highway driving conservatively.

    I only need to net about $2,000 per month doing this or anything else. Driveaway is something that I think I'd really like to do, if I can earn that kind of money without having to work truck driver hours.

    Given these parameters, can you guys offer any more input or suggestions?

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    2005 Honda Civic .....????

    that's a tad small.........dont' ya think.....???
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTR SILVER View Post
    2005 Honda Civic .....????

    that's a tad small.........dont' ya think.....???

    I think he means he will tow that behind a big RV that he is driving. SO he has something to drive back to where he came from.
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    JeffTheTerrible is offline Senior Board Member
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    Horizon.. isn't that the company out of Wakrusa, IN? Or maybe they use that as one of many locations? I used to see them all the time when I hauled chassis to.... I think it was Utilimaster... the company which makes FedEx vans and such.

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    headborg is offline Senior Board Member
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    Yeah a friend of a Friend was thinking about doing that- with Horizon. Transport the Big Motor Homes out to points west, him and his wife, while towing a small car behind One ( for the ride back to- Indiana(appearently the nucleus of the RV building industry). They are currently team driving for another company.

    Horizon was paying .96cpm out bound -- but they don't pay for the deadhead back or the plane ticket(s) if the (contractor(s)) choose that route.

    That's .96cmp before fuel. I don't have any details on fuel surcharge or company discount(s) etc.

    The second issue they encountered was the number/steady amount of those-- Drive away's. The guys with the 3/4 ton duelly pickups- pulling goose neck trailers and 5th wheels were staying busier.

    But, as in any business-- you have to watch the bottom line. And that unpaid deadhead back to Indiana is the killer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackman View Post
    I think he means he will tow that behind a big RV that he is driving. SO he has something to drive back to where he came from.
    oops...........my bad.........:rolleyes:
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    There was a driver who retired from UPS to do this right? I can't remember his name.

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